Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • Does exercise help with arthritis?

    Yes! We strongly encourage those with arthritis to stay active, as it helps reduce joint pain; protect, strengthen, and support aching joints; preserve flexibility; and increase stamina. But, you also need to be careful when you exercise with arthritis—we don’t want to do further damage to your joints, and we don’t want you howling in pain every time you do a little cardio.

    You don’t need to push yourself, especially if it hurts—gentle exercises like moving and stretching throughout the day, and especially before you go to bed, can help prevent stiffness. For your aerobic exercise, gravitate toward low-impact workouts such as cycling, swimming, or light walking to avoid repetitive pounding on your joints. Your exercise program should also focus on stretches, range of motion exercises, and strength training—building up joint-supporting muscles protects them from future damage.

    Most importantly, before you jump into any new routines, stop in at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV and check with an expert to make sure you have everything you need for a safe, healthy exercise program. Give us a call at (775) 783-8037 today.

    Photo Credit: pilostic via Pixabay.com

  • What foods should I avoid if I have gout?

    Gout can be extremely painful, with attacks lasting days to weeks (or more, without proper treatment). Flare-ups are triggered when uric acid in the blood reaches above a certain level. Uric acid is a product your body makes when it digests purines; suffers of gout should therefore limit or avoid foods and drinks that contain purines.

    Some common purine-rich foods include meat (especially red meat and organ meat), poultry, seafood, alcohol (especially beer), high fructose corn syrup (common in soft drinks, juices, and processed sweets), and refined carbohydrates. Although fruits and veggies are usually a good option, a few do have elevated purine levels and should be eaten more cautiously—these include asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower.

    For help dealing with painful gout attacks, including advice on the best diet for gout, as well as other necessary medications or treatment, contact Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM. Dial (775) 783-8037 to schedule an appointment at one of our two Nevada locations: Carson City or Gardnerville.

    Photo Credit: CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.com

  • What is clean eating?

    Clean EatingNo artificial ingredients, no problems! Clean eating means choosing to consume whole foods in their most natural state and eliminating processed and refined foods from your diet.

    The best foods you can eat with this daily diet are whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed beef. It’s not about restricting your calories or a certain food group, it’s just about keeping your food simple.

    Eating clean isn’t hard to do and it also is a type of diet that can last a lifetime! If you have a craving for frozen pizza or macaroni and cheese, make a homemade version and try to use as many ingredients from scratch as you can. Try to keep your sugar and salt intake low and make sure to get plenty of water.

    Getting your body the nutrients it needs can help prevent disease and also help you lose some weight, which might take away some of your foot problems. Call Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV at (775) 783-8037 to learn more about how this diet can keep your feet healthy.

  • Why do my feet hurt after cycling?

    Feet hurt from cyclingSince cycling is a non weight bearing sport most people don't think too much about the possibility of foot injury until they feel that nagging burning foot pain during their ride. The truth, is your feet are working very hard during your ride to translate all that muscle power being generated by your leg and glut muscles into the pedals. The most common foot complaint I have treated in cyclists (competitive, long-touring riders and casual) has been burning pain under the center, outside ball joints,and into the toes. The ball joints and the nerves between them are directly over the pedals and can be strained with the repetitive pushing motion on the pedal.

    The medical terms for this condition is "metatarsalagia," "neuroma," or "neuritis".

    Metatarsalagia is when there is strain and bruising to one of the ball joints (metatarsalphangeal joint) of the foot. With cycling, the center three joints are most typically involved.

    Neuritis is inflammation to a nerve without any long term structural change to the nerve. With continued and repetitive nerve injury causing inflammation the nerve may develop scar tissue which is referred to as a neuroma.

    Steps to relieve this type of pressure include the following:

    (1)  Check your shoe for correct fit- To do this take the shoe liner out of your cycling shoe and hold it up to your foot. You are checking to make sure that your ball joints or toes don't hang over the edge. Then place this same liner on the ground so you can load your foot with partial weight-bearing, and again check for overhanging of your ball joints and toes. You should also easily be able to wiggle all of your toes comfortable in your shoes.

    (2)  Check your socks. - You want socks that will wick moisture away from your foot to avoid heat build up, which will cause foot swelling and a tighter fitting shoe on longer bike rides. It is also important to get good cushioning under your ball joints.

    (3)  Use a proper rigid sole biking shoe with cleats- The rigidity of the sole helps you more efficiently transfer the muscle power of the leg and glut muscles to the pedal. It will also protect the ball joints from the hardness of the pedal.

    (4)  Check the shoe straps over the ball joints. - As the foot heats up with exercise  from increased blood flow, the strap directly over the ball joints may need to be loosened.

    (5)  Have your local bike shop check your position on your bike.- At the very  bottom of your stroke the knee should be in a slightly flexed position, heel level or slightly lower than the ball joints, knee straight ahead without any bucking side to side with stroke, and finally toes pointed straight ahead. If the seat position is too high this will promote pointing of the toes and increased loading under the ball joints. Cleats not pointed straight ahead may put pressures on the knees and outside part of the foot. Seat height too low leads to inefficient use of glut, hamstring muscles, over active calf muscles, and pointing of toes.

    (6)  Remember to use both your upstroke as well as your downstroke.–Absence of or lazy upstroke will lead to putting too much weight on the pedals during downstroke. Balancing on these hard small objects for longer rides will put too much pressure under the ball joints and causes bruising to the metatarsal heads.

    (7)  Replace the shoe liner with a quality over the counter arch support- Cycling is tiring to the feet. When the smaller foot muscles become tired, your arch may fatten too much (pronate), causing inefficient and uneven loading to the ball joints.

    (8)   Go to a sports medicine podiatrist. - If the above suggestions do not completely correctly your foot pain with cycling, STOP messing around and make an appointment with a sports medicine podiatrist. A more corrective Custom orthotic may be needed to align your foot and prevent the uneven loading of the ball joints, or a more serious condition like a stress fracture to the metatarsal may be the reason for your pain.

  • How does bursitis and tendonitis differ?

    Bursitis and tendonitis are similar conditions resulting from inflammation of soft tissue. They’re also both treated in comparable manners. The key difference between bursitis and tendonitis is whether the soft tissue that has become inflamed is a bursa or a tendon.

    A tendon is a fibrous cord that connects bone and muscle. A bursa is a small sac that contains a lubricating fluid and is located between bone and a moving a structure, like a tendon or muscles.

    Bursitis and tendonitis both cause pain and tenderness, are associated with overuse or repetitive motion, and occur more frequently as people age.

    Treatment options are both centered on resting the affected areas, using compression, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Icing can be helpful for acute cases, but most instances are chronic in nature and ice will not be particularly helpful.

    If you are suffering from either bursitis or tendonitis, let us help. Visit our Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, office and see Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, to receive the expert care and relief you need. Call Sierra Foot & Ankle at (775) 783-8037 or schedule an appointment online today.

  • How can I treat heel pain?

    When you first feel heel pain, there are luckily some immediate things you can do to relieve your discomfort. The first treatment for heel pain is rest. Stop what you’re doing, whether that’s walking, running, hiking, or playing tennis, and start icing the affected area.

    Before you start cross-training (to take pressure off the area, of course), try some arch stretches. Grab over the fronts of your toes and pull toward you until you feel a stretch in the bottom of your foot. It’s important to keep your calf muscles limber, too. You can try the runner’s stretch—leaning toward a wall with front knee bent and back leg straight—if you want a good stretch in the calves and hamstrings.

    We can’t stress this enough: wear good shoes! A pair that’s rigid everywhere but the toes, provides ample cushioning in the soles, and offers good arch support will get you through the discomfort. You may also benefit from heel pads and custom orthotics from Sierra Foot & Ankle.

    If the pain last for more than two weeks, call Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, in Carson City, NV, at (775) 783-8037. You may need physical therapy or other advanced treatment.

  • Why do I have pain at the base of my toes?

    Your pain at the base of the toes means that your foot’s not working like it should. There’s an uneven amount of pressure placed on your foot when it hits the ground, so it irritates and inflames the metatarsals, which are the bones that run from your arch to the toe bones. This pain is more specifically referred to as metatarsalgia.

    There are a number of causes for this overarching term to describe ball of foot pain. Walking on hard surfaces, running on the beach, and trying to sprint in worn-out shoes are some of the reasons why you might suddenly feel discomfort.

    Your shoe choice could be to blame as well. Think about how sore the front of your foot is after spending an entire day in high heels.

    Bunions, claw toes, obesity, and stress fractures could put an uneven amount of pressure on your foot. Arthritis is another cause to consider, since it might choose to attack the metatarsophalangeal joints.

    Causes abound and, luckily, so do treatments for this kind of discomfort! Schedule your appointment at Sierra Foot & Ankle, serving the northern Nevada area, with a quick call—(775) 783-8037.

  • Who developed the PinPointe FootLaser procedure?

    Leading scientists and medical professionals working together for 20 years with funding provided by the National Institutes of Health developed the technology used in the patented PinPointe FootLaser

  • How long has the PinPointe FootLaser been in use?

    Clinical studies began in November 2007.

  • Is the PinPointe FootLaser FDA cleared?

    Yes, the device has received FDA clearance.